Mar 29, 2024 - Things to Do

Axios NW A Does: A humbling pottery-making experience

photo of pottery wheel

This did not go as planned. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Alex here. Taking one of the many craft classes offered at the Community Creative Center in Fayetteville has long been on my list of local gems to try for myself. Last week, I got around to it.

My husband, Trenton, and I went to one of the regularly held pottery wheel "date night" classes offered on Friday evenings.

🪴 State of play: As the instructor gave a thorough demonstration of how to make your ball of clay the right shape, when to add water, how to work the wheel and go about shaping the clay to your liking, I began picturing the perfectly smooth and symmetrical saucers, vases and bowls I would create with ease.

  • Let's just say I was humbled about 30 seconds in. Keeping the clay from becoming a collapsing mess is harder than it looks. But looking around the class, some were nailing it.
  • I quickly realized that I would have to lower my expectations from a work of art to literally anything with structural integrity. The instructor kindly called my single final product — made on my third attempt — a candleholder.
photo of finished pottery
The "candleholder." Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

What they're saying: "We don't need a monument to my failures in our house," Trenton said when asked if he wanted to keep his first shot at a vase.

By the numbers: The class was $48 per person. That included instruction, which is useful for those who follow along well, and a glass of wine, which is useful for those of us who were out of our element.

  • All materials are covered and you can also use up several balls of clay to keep attempting or actually creating. The center holds onto your masterpiece and fires it for you so you can pick it up later and perhaps add it to your home decor.

ğŸ‘©â€ğŸŽ¨ The bottom line: It turns out my natural artistic talent ends with the written word, or at least doesn't stretch into making pottery. But we still had a fantastic time getting our hands dirty and had some good laughs.

  • This is a fun and noncommittal option for those who want to dabble in something new — as long as you're a good sport.
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